// Morrisons’ takeover by a private equity firm could lead to higher petrol prices in more than 100 locations
// CD&R is the biggest independent operator of petrol stations in the UK
The Competition and Markets Authority has warned that the private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice’s £7 billion takeover of Morrisons could lead to higher fuel prices in more than 120 locations.
The private equity firm, which agreed to buy Morrisons in 2021 for £7.1bn, operates 921 petrol stations across the UK and is the biggest independent operator of petrol stations in the UK.
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Morrisons operates 339 petrol stations, most of which are next to its supermarkets.
The UK competition watchdog said it now has concerns over 121 local areas where MFG and Morrisons both have forecourts and would face “limited competition” from other players following the deal.
The warning comes after a recent surge in the price of petrol and diesel across Britain’s forecourts.
Colin Raftery, senior director of mergers at the CMA, said: “Prices for petrol and diesel have recently hit record highs, which makes it even more important that we don’t allow a lack of competition at the pump to make the situation worse.
“We’re concerned that this deal could lead to higher prices for motorists in some parts of the country. But if CD&R and Morrisons are able to address these concerns, then we won’t need to move on to an in-depth investigation of the merger.”
Last year, its supermarket rival Asda agreed to sell 27 petrol stations in order to help its £6.8bn takeover pass following concerns from the CMA.